Shin splints are often caused by a weak anterior tibialis muscles on the front of the lower leg. Stretching these muscles and building them up are important for preventing shin splints but are just as necessary when treating shin splints in order to help prevent the injury reccuring. The anterior tibialis muscle mostly gets its workout from running or high intensity sports such as netball, basketball or tennis. Because this muscle is often underdeveloped among those who are new to these sports it can cause shin splints if too much distance or intensity is attempted right away. Similarly in more seasoned runners shin splints are caused by trying to increase distance or instensity too fast. There are a number of stretches for shin splints and several will be described here.
The first stretch for shin splints is the standing tibialis shin stretch. For this stretch you should be standing. Keep one foot squarely on the ground and place your other foot slightly behind with your toe touching the ground. While keeping this toe on the ground pull your back leg forwards until you feel a stretch through your shins. Hold this for 20-30 seconds and then repeat with the other foot.
Shin Splints Stretches
The next shin splint stretch is done while seated. Sit in an upright position with one foot on the ground in front of you. Place your other foot with the toes on the ground as far back as is comfortable . Bend the foot slightly until you feel a stretching in your shin. Hold this for 20-30 seconds and then repeat with your other leg.
The final shin splint stretch described here is the toe raise. This is a very good simple stretch to help prevent shin splints. Stand on the edge of a step with your heel on the step and your toes hanging over the edge (you may need to hold on to something for balance). Raise the toes of one foot up towards your shin as far as possible and hold briefly. Then slowly lower your toes and repeat this with your other foot. Do 2-3 sets of around 12 repetitions daily per foot to build up your anterior tibialis muscles. Stretching for shin splints is an important part of both prevention and recovery from shin splints.